Sociology | Advanced Topics
S660 | 21221 | Eder

Topic: Race, Class and Gender

This course will examine the influence of gender, race, and class from
a perspective of power and culture.  We will question the way in which
power dynamics influence these social statuses by focusing on their
interlinkages. The course will be divided into two sections.  The
first half will examine the experiences of people who have been
oppressed, with a special focus on those who have experienced multiple
forms of oppression.  We will cover a variety of  theories including
social constructivist, post-modern, feminist and Afrocentric thought.
The remaining part of this section will focus primarily on issues of
identity, peer culture, body, and sexuality/relationships.

In the second half of the course we will examine how groups of people
learn to be dominant, turning to issues of whiteness, masculinity,
and class domination.  We will begin by looking at a variety of
contextual factors that influence conceptions of race and of
whiteness.  Then we will look at different forms of masculinities. We
will also examine upper middle class views to see how they are shaped
and linked to those of other privileged statuses. This section will
conclude with an examination of key processes of domination and
resistance as well as a general discussion of perspectives on social

Course Goals:
One of my goals for this course is to have active participation by all
class members.  This means that all students are expected to
participate in class discussions.  In addition I hope that class
members will provide feedback about course goals, progress in meeting
them and classroom dynamics  throughout the semester.  Also, you will
have the option of helping prepare for the class by either
distributing readings for one week of the course or co-leading a
discussion for one week.  Finally, I hope that during class
discussions we will respect and value differences in perspectives,
opinions and backgrounds.

Course Requirements:
All students are expected to do one major paper-- either an empirical
study, a research proposal, or a library research paper.  Group
projects are an option and should result in a more expanded paper.  In
addition, you can choose to do two or more of the following options:
1) take a midterm take-home exam, 2) write reflection papers on the
readings for three of the weeks, 3) give an oral presentation of your
paper (either on the week most relevant or the last week of class), 4)
do a community service learning project combining volunteer work with
reflective writing and give an oral report.   You will be able to
divide the way your grade is computed among the three or more
requirements as long as the paper receives at least 40 per cent of
your grade and you stick to round numbers (ex. 40-20-20-20).